Monday, July 12, 2010

Status 2/3: To ignore or not to ignore, that is the question

Old opinion on status

Earlier I thought that mainly upper class persons have status. Marketing men take advantage of people's natural drive to improve their lot. Lower and middle classes buy status symbols because companies like to sell overpriced goods by associating them with high status. Status is a ruse to separate the gullible from their money.

There is an old saying that money does not bring happiness, but it's better to be unhappy in a Lexus than in a Lada. When we consider status as a ruse, it would be better for those people to sell their Lexus and save or invest the money, Ilkka style. If they retain the Lexus, they are bleeding money when its price depreciates month by month, while getting only hallucinations in return. The only exceptions are people who are so dirty rich that the cost of the car is neglible.

Seen this way, status matters only for persons who need to make a good impression on many others, like salesmen or celebrities. The 1% of people who get 50% of visibility benefit from status symbols. This strengthens the illusion that status is more important than it really is.

New opinion on status

Reading Roissy and paying attention to the Game of Talking has made me realize that there is a special kind of status, psychosocial dominance, which is tightly vowen to everyday interaction and orthogonal to economic status. If I want to have a sex life and settle down at around age 35, I must learn the ropes of these status games.

This does not make the old opinion obsolete. Rather, I need to complement it so that I can express status enough to come across as a desirable sexual partner, while still being able to avoid getting stiffed by marketers.

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